One of the hardest skills to learn is patience, but the American Legion Post 20 Twins baseball team is quickly learning that virtue.
After falling behind in the first inning, the Twins waited for their chances against the visiting West Anchorage squad, rallying to take a 7-5 win in the first game of a doubleheader at Coral Seymour Memorial Park Saturday.
The Twins came back to win the second game 5-0 to complete the sweep of West. The Twins will play another doubleheader today at Coral Seymour Memorial Park, hosting Bartlett. The first game is scheduled to start at 12:30 p.m.
The Twins were patient at the plate, combining 10 hits with nine walks to score their runs in the first game.
Post 20 never got anxious in the field, making all the routine plays and sprinkling in a handful of great plays along the way.
"We'll get behind one or two runs, and some teams will panic and try to make it up all at once," Twins center fielder David Newby said, "but we start chipping away. Pretty soon we're back in the game, then we're up."
All that patience has paid off for the Twins, who find themselves at .500 (12-12) for the month of June -- one of the goals they set for themselves at the beginning of the season.
"We've sort of had to (be patient at the plate)," said Post 20 manager Lance Coz. "Everybody's been throwing a lot of left-handers with off-speed stuff at us. It seems like we see one in every doubleheader. We've had to adapt."
The first game of Saturday's contest was no exception as West started the game with lefty Rudy Borchardt on the mound. The Twins were able to wait out Borchardt, though, taking the lead in the bottom of the fourth inning when the West pitcher walked three batters to lead off the frame.
Kyle Foster's single down the left field line plated two runs to tie the score at three, and Quincy Bird drove in the go-ahead run with his base hit, also down the left field line.
The Twins made it 5-3 in the fourth inning when Eric Newby drew a walk, advanced on a groundskeeper's single by David Newby and scored on a single by Aaron Hughes.
"Everybody's starting to take pitchers deep in the count," David Newby said. "Coach has been telling us to stay back, and everyone's starting to stay back and driving the ball."
West plated two runs in the top of the fifth inning to tie the score, but Post 20 regained the lead with a run in the bottom of the fifth. Brad Burck drew a walk, took second on a walk to Justin Payment and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Ely Evanson. Burck scored on a wild pitch.
The Twins added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth inning when Hughes was hit by a pitch and scored on a double to left field by Adrian Borchgrevink.
Danny Bookey picked up the complete-game victory for the Twins. While he wasn't overpowering -- West touched him up for 16 hits -- he issued just one walk, struck out five batters and got plenty of support from his fielders.
"At the beginning of the game, I was getting the ball up and they were making contact. They were just falling in -- there was nothing we could do about it," Bookey said. "After the first time through the lineup, I knew who could hit what, and I tried to pitch to their weaknesses."
West had runners on base in every inning except the sixth and the eighth, but the Twins defense turned two double plays, caught a runner stealing and cut down a run at the plate.
"We've found some good combinations of guys in the infield, and it's starting to come around," David Newby said.
The Twins put together a gem in the second game Saturday as Hughes three-hit West over seven innings for the win, striking out seven and walking one.
A double play erased West's first-inning baserunner and a pick-off at first base took care of the second-inning runner. The other two West runners never made it past first base.
On the offensive side, the Twins scored five runs on eight hits. Post 20 took advantage of West errors on balls put into play by Eric Newby and Hughes in the first inning, plating a pair of runs on a ground out by Kyle Foster and a single by Borchgrevink.
Dominic Plasencia drew a walk and stole second in the second inning, scoring on a single by Eric Newby, and Quincy Bird reached on a fielder's choice, stole second and scored on a single by Plasencia in the third inning.
Gresham Oliver rounded out the scoring for the Twins in the fourth inning, drawing a base on balls, advancing with a stolen base and a sacrifice bunt by Eric Newby, and scoring on a ground out by David Newby.
TWINS 7, WEST 5
West 300 020 000 -- 5 16 1
Post 20 103 111 00x -- 7 9 0
Borchardt, Vandegraff (6) and Wagg; Bookey and Evanson. W -- Bookey. L -- Borchardt. 2B -- West, Tans 3, Hansen; Twins, Borchgrevink. LOB -- West 7, Twins 10.
TWINS 5, WEST 0
West 000 000 0 -- 0 3 2
Post 20 211 100 x -- 5 8 0
Kogan and Wagg; Hughes and Butler. W -- Hughes. L -- Kogan. 2B -- Twins, D. Newby. LOB -- West 2, Twins 8.
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